Scholarship Opportunity

Master of Special Education (Sensory Disability)

Applications close: Friday, 6 December 2013.

PDF Icon Master of Special Eduation Guide

Guide Dogs Tasmania is the primary provider of orientation and mobility services for Tasmanians with who are blind or vision impaired. We are a trusted brand delivering free client service programs throughout Tasmania.

Guide Dogs Tasmania invites suitably qualified and interested applicants to be considered for a comprehensive scholarship to undertake a Master of Special Education (Sensory Disability) through the RIDBC Renwick Centre, Sydney, a program administered by the Royal Institute for Deaf and Blind Children (RIDBC) and affiliated with the University of Newcastle.

Applicants must be Tasmanian residents and demonstrate a commitment to working in Tasmania on completion of the scholarship.

Our scholarship program is the first step toward launching your career as an Orientation and Mobility Instructor, potentially with Guide Dogs Tasmania. The selected scholarship candidate must successfully complete the Master degree program, which may lead to an offer of full-time employment as an Orientation & Mobility Instructor with Guide Dogs Tasmania. The program can be completed full time or part time, and can be completed in large part by distance whilst resident in Tasmania.

The Guide Dogs Tasmania scholarship will cover course fees, travel directly associated with completing the qualification and all texts.

Details of the course can be found here:

PDF Icon Master of Special Eduation Guide

Prior to submitting your application for this scholarship, interested applicants must ensure they meet the entry requirements of the RIDBC Renwick Centre, University of Newcastle. Enquiries about this program and the entry requirements are to be made in the first instance to Jill Watson on (02) 9872 0303 /

Once academic suitability has been confirmed by the RIDBC Renwick Centre, your application may be forwarded to quoting the O&M Scholarship opportunity.

Applications must include a covering letter, your current CV and must address the essential criteria, which can be found in the Information Pack, below.

Enquiries: Dan English on 03 6232 1222 or

Applications close: Friday, 6 December 2013.

Information Pack

A Career as an Orientation & Mobility Instructor

Our Principles

Guide Dogs Tasmania is the primary service provider for Tasmanians who are blind or vision impaired. Our services are designed enhance safety, independence and quality of life through access and participation in all aspects of community.

What We Do

We provide, among other things:

  • low vision assessment and training,
  • assessment and training in Orientation and Mobility,
  • independent living skills training and equipment,
  • introductory aspects of adaptive technology,
  • compensatory training for people affected by stroke or other brain trauma,
  • mobility aids including long canes, electronic travel aids and Guide Dogs,
  • systemic advocacy and community education relating to the needs and rights of people with disabilities.

Our services are delivered in the most appropriate location to meet client needs. For example:

  • the home, domicile and suburb of clients;
  • to, from, and at the clients’ places of employment;
  • at schools, universities and other educational facilities; and
  • where appropriate, from our office locations.

Guide Dogs Tasmana has offices in both Hobart and Launceston, from which the entire state is provided a full range of services.

Guide Dogs Tasmania services are provided free of charge to clients. As a not-for-profit organisation, Guide Dogs Tasmania is primarily supported through the generosity of Tasmanians. Guide Dogs Tasmania receives approximately 13% funding from the Tasmanian State Government and is able to charge on a fee for service basis for some services where there is third party funding available.


Guide Dogs Tasmania is offering a full scholarship for one suitable applicant to undertake a Master of Special Education (Sensory Disability) at the RIDBC Renwick Centre, University of Newcastle commencing in March 2014.

This specially designed program uses the current structure of the University of Newcastle’s Master degree, with some important modifications to meet the requirements of Guide Dogs organisations, who are the major employer of those who graduate from this course.

The course requires completion of an approved sequence of 80 credit points at the 6000 level. The program is offered primarily by distance education and can be studied part time or full time whilst residing in Tasmania. There is a requirement to attend some practicum sessions in NSW during the course.

Guide Dogs Tasmania will meet all fees associated with the scholarship, providing all subjects are successfully completed and on time. Guide Dogs Tasmania will also meet travel costs related to attendance at practicum sessions on site at the Renwick Centre.

Enquiries about the Master program, including entry criteria, program content and on-campus accommodation should be directed to the RIDBC Renwick Centre on (02) 9872 0303.

How Do I Apply For The Scholarship?

Applicants for the scholarship must:

Meet the entry criteria of the University of Newcastle. You will need to liaise directly with the RIDBC Renwick Centre. Telephone Jill Watson on (02) 9872 0303.

Submit an application to Guide Dogs Tasmania for the scholarship in writing or by email to quoting ‘O&M Instructor Scholarship’ in the subject line.

Your application must include:

  • A comprehensive covering letter.
  • Your current CV.
  • Details of three professional referees.

What Happens Next?

Acknowledgement of your application will be forwarded by Guide Dogs Tasmania upon receipt. Once applications are closed (6 December 2013) all applications will be considered and a short-list of candidates will be invited to attend an interview during mid-December.

The RIDBC Renwick Centre academic year commences on Monday, 3 March 2014 and the successful candidate must complete enrolment no later than January 2014. The University enrolment procedure is independent of your application for this scholarship from Guide Dogs Tasmania (please refer to Studies in Orientation and Mobility at the RIDBC Renwick Centre).

If you are successful in your application for this scholarship, the enrolment with the university also requires you to provide the following:

  • Details of your work experience;
  • Certified copies of transcripts and awards of all study completed at tertiary institutions; and
  • Proof of any change of name (eg marriage certificate or equivalent).

The Role of an Orientation & Mobility Instructor

Instructors in Tasmania spend most of their time assessing, planning for and, training people with vision impairment, on a one-to-one basis to develop the confidence and skills required to:

  • travel safely around their various environments. An Orientation & Mobility Instructor must enjoy working; and
  • develop the necessary skills and techniques that ensure safety and independence in home, educational and employment environments.

Our Instructors work with a cross section of the community including people of all ages and backgrounds. Our programs are offered in any location that can enhance client participation in community or required activities. For example, orientation to a new travel route or location, catching public transport, and engaging in recreational activities, work, or school. Each program is designed to meet the needs of the individual client. Most of an Instructor’s time is spent away from the office.

A mature approach, and excellent spoken and written communication skills are essential. Above all, applicants must be sensitive and responsive to the goals and aspirations of our clients. Applicants must be able to work well within a small team environment and demonstrate a capacity to work autonomously. The work of an Instructor can involve extensive suburban or rural travel, including long distances, with time away from home on occasion.

Applicants need to evidence good planning skills and the ability to work to deadlines.

All applicants must have an undergraduate degree in a relevant field from a recognised University (eg, education, disability, psychology, OT, physiotherapy, etc).

Demonstrated proficiency in the use of office technology is essential.

Essential Criteria to Address in your Application:

  • Confirmation from the RIDBC Renwick Centre that you meet the entry requirements for the Master of Special Education (Sensory Disability);

  • Completion of a relevant tertiary degree;

  • Prior employment experience (where applicable) in education, disability, psychology, occupational therapy, physiotherapy or a related field will be highly regarded;

  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills including the ability to communicate sensitively and effectively with clients and others;

  • Ability to work in a team, as well as independently, assuming responsibility for nominated tasks and deadlines – accountable and reliable;

  • Excellent time management and planning skills;

  • Ability to work under direction while maintaining initiative;

  • Strong problem solving skills;

  • Possess a current C Class drivers licence with a good driving history;

  • Obtain a satisfactory National Police Check clearance (once directed to obtain these – background screening is essential for successful applicants); and

  • Ability to manage the physical demands and inherent requirements of the Orientation & Mobility Instructor job (briefly described above).

Accounts and Administration Assistant

Closes Friday, 1st November, 2013.

PDF Icon Position Description

We need an experienced hands-on all-rounder to complement our busy accounting and administration team and provide support to our client services department.

You will need good computer skills in MS Office and experience in accounting software, preferably Reckon Accounts. You will also need to work with ancillary programs and a busy email environment

You are a self-starter who can tackle anything the day brings and also have a professional telephone manner and front of house skills.

This position is permanent part-time and is based in Hobart. Ideally you would have at least 3 years experience in a similar role.

A copy of the Position Description containing the selection criteria is available to download

For any additional information regarding the position please phone Heather Malham on (03) 6232 1222 or on the email address below.

Applicants will need to submit a cover letter, together with resume and a statement addressing the selection criteria to:

Office Manager
Guide Dogs Tasmania
PO Box 82
North Hobart 7002

Or by email to:

Applications close on Friday 1st November 2013. Please note that late applications will not be accepted.

The successful applicant will be required to complete a National Police Check and a Pre-Employment Health Check prior to commencing the role.

Orientation and Mobility Specialist (O&M Specialist)

O&M Specialists work with clients of all ages who are blind or have low vision and may also have other disabilities. Some large organizations may have teams of specialists working primarily with children or with clients who have neurological vision loss but the majority of O&M Specialists need to be able to communicate with, assess and train individuals across the lifespan. Services are generally provided one-to-one with clients in their home, school, workplace or local community.

The role of an Orientation and Mobility Specialist is best suited to those people who are:

  • Compassionate
  • Patient
  • Understanding
  • Fit and active
  • Able to drive and travel
  • Able to read maps and have a good sense of direction
  • Flexible
  • Practical problem-solvers
  • Able to work with children and adults of all ages and backgrounds who are blind and vision impaired.
  • Eager to learn and who enjoy stimulating and challenging work.

O&M Teachers are dual qualified as O&M Specialist and special education teacher who work primarily with clients aged 0-18 and are employed by State Government Education Departments.

Orientation and Mobility courses are a Post Graduate level qualification. There are currently no courses offered in Tasmania. Prior to undertaking training as an O&M Specialist, you must have obtained at least an undergraduate qualification in a related area. This may be a Bachelor of health science, teaching, psychology or similar.


La Trobe University, (VIC) Bundoora Campus
Graduate Diploma in Orientation and Mobility
1 year full time

Griffith University, (QLD), Logan Campus
Masters of Human Services
1 year full time

University of Newcastle,
Renwick College North Rocks Campus
Master of Special Education: Sensory Disability

Massey University, New Zealand, Palmerston North Campus
Graduate Diploma in Rehabilitation with an endorsement in the Rehabilitation of the Vision Impaired (O&M)
1 year full time

Graduate Certificate in Vision Impairment (Orientation and Mobility)
Vision Australia - Enfield, NSW
1 year full time

Guide Dog Mobility Instructor (GDMI) / Guide Dog Trainer

A Guide Dog Mobility Instructor works primarily with adult clients. Their role includes: training dogs; assessing clients to determine their eligibility for a Guide Dog; liaising with Orientation and Mobility Specialists; matching dogs with client applicants; conducting intensive training with clients when they are matched with a new dog; assessing the ongoing health and care of guide dogs; and providing ongoing support, training and advice to Guide Dog handlers throughout the working life of the dog. GDMIs are also involved with Puppy Raising programs which involve: selecting Puppy Raising volunteers; conducting one-to-one and group training sessions and teaching all aspects of puppy/dog healthcare and training.

The role of a Guide Dog Mobility Instructor is best suited to those people who are:

  • Very fit and active
  • Able to drive and travel
  • Able to demonstrate assertive leadership skills
  • Interested in training dogs to a high skill level, in accordance with international Guide Dog standards.
  • Interested in all aspects of dog breeding, care and training
  • Compassionate
  • Patient
  • Flexible
  • Practical problem-solvers
  • Able to work with clients of all ages and backgrounds who are blind and vision impaired.
  • Eager to learn and who enjoy stimulating and challenging work.

The role of a Guide Dog Trainer is primarily to train several dogs at a time, not to work directly with vision impaired clients.

Guide Dog Mobility courses are a Post Graduate level qualification. Prior to undertaking training as a GDMI, you must have obtained at least an undergraduate qualification in a related area and undertake an Orientation and Mobility course. Further training is usually conducted as part of a cadetship within a Guide Dog organization which has senior staff qualified to deliver the training to comply with International Guide Dog Federation standards.

Opportunities for Employment

Many non-government organisations in Australia and overseas that provide services for people who are blind or vision impaired employ Orientation and Mobility Specialists. They may be part of a multi-disciplinary team or be the primary specialist working with clients if O&M is the only service offered.

Organisations providing Guide Dog services employ both O&M Specialists and Guide Dog Mobility Instructors. Depending on the size of the organization, they may also employ Guide Dog trainers. Some larger Guide Dog organisations have their own breeding program and employ staff in their kennels.

Project Officer - Puppy Banks & PR (CLOSED)

Closes 5pm, 27 April, 2012.

We are looking for an organised, articulate, motivated individual who will drive our public education program & assist with PR activities.

This is a part time role based in Hobart, ideally suited to a person with marketing, education, fundraising or communications experience. It primarily involves pursuing, organising, and conducting talks in schools, community groups and organisations around the state, engaging with audiences about the services of Royal Guide Dogs Tasmania, and 'pitching' the Puppy Banks fundraising program. Other duties occasionally include support with print publications, social media/website content and event planning. Some volunteer recruitment, induction and coordination is required.

If you can engage and inspire a group, are highly competent with IT and can manage competing deadlines, we'd like to hear from you.

Applicants can obtain a copy of the Position Description from the Royal Guide Dogs Tasmania.
Applications must include the following attachments:

  • a cover letter addressing the Essential and Desirable Knowledge and Skills section of that Position Description, and
  • a current CV including the names of 3 referees.

Applications to Kate Grady, Funding Development Manager: Applications close 5pm, 27 April, 2012.

The successful applicant will be required to complete a National Police Check and a Pre-Employment Heath Check prior to commencing the role.